Matthew Bates mulls over Hartlepool United system switch

Matthew Bates with Myles Anderson.
Matthew Bates with Myles Anderson.

Matthew Bates is weighing up whether to stick with his system switch after admitting the change suited members of his Hartlepool United squad.

Bates has been quite rigid with his system and style of play, with star man Ryan Donaldson recently revealing the manager is building a footballing culture behind the scenes at the Super 6 Stadium.

Bates’ weapon of choice when it comes to formations has more often that not been the 3-5-2, or variations of, but he altered his starting XI to a 4-4-2 for the FA Cup draw at Gillingham.

And he thinks it suited both Mark Kitching and Paddy McLaughlin, both of whom have come in for some criticism from fans this campaign.

Now he must decide whether to stick or twist in the National League with Barnet at the Vic on Sunday.

“The system suited them,” said Bates.

“Paddy is a senior player now he has played a number of different positions in his career and has a good understanding of what is required.

“He is accustomed to changing his role - I am not sure he would say playing left is his favourite position but I think he would have liked the licence to come in and cause the opposition problems, which he did.

“We don’t expect Paddy to get past players and be a typical winger but we do want him to be clever and cause problems cutting in.

“He did that last weekend. They struggled with him and had to change their shape three times in the game to cope with Paddy.”

Meanwhile, Pools have cut ticket prices for their FA Cup first round replay against Gillingham.

The Gills travel to the Super 6 Stadium on Wednesday, November 21 to settle the tie after Pools secured a 0-0 draw down at Priestfield last weekend.

And in the hope of getting a bumper crowd to cheer the players on to a second round tie with either Sutton United or Slough, Pools have trimmed the price of a matchday ticket.

Tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £10 seniors (60 and over), £5 u-19s, free u-5s.

Fans can buy their tickets for the tie from the club’s ticket office, online or over the telephone.